This is a large hardback book. It weaves a highly imaginative tale of what a child would do with an elephant, if he were lucky enough to have one. The illustrations are large and vibrant, and children who cannot read will be able to decipher what is happening just by looking at them.
The text is not too difficult for a young reader and is easy to understand, being quite literal. It might be fun to read in a junior classroom, and to have the students share ideas of what they would love to do if they had their very own elephant.
The conclusion of If I Had An Elephant has the child receiving a toy gorilla and a toy dragon for his birthday. Although he still wishes for an elephant for next year, the final illustration shows him already off on a new adventure with the gorilla and the dragon.
Junior class teachers could have their students discuss and create an original text together, telling the next chapter in the story. This is a fun tale and great to read aloud to a class or a younger family member.
Title: If I Had an Elephant
Author: Richard Fairgray
Illustrator: Terry Jones
Publisher: Scholastic New Zealand
Date of Publication: April 2017
Reviewer: Mary Brown
Position: Primary Teacher
School: Summerland Primary